21 Jul 2012

Review: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
March 1st, 2012 G.P. Putnam's Sons
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 288
Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…


I was in the mood for a light, funny contemporary so I looked upon Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

Kelsey is a stand up character. She deals with A LOT of embarrassing moments and handles them surprisingly well. What I loved most is that even after all the embarrassment she endures she soldiers on which for a fourteen year old is pretty inspirational. Kelsey is hyper and has a ‘Can Do’ energy which when you are starting high school is a good quality to have!

The secondary characters are all written superbly well and were such fun to read about. At the start I was little confused about Kelsey’s friend’s - JoJo, Em and Cassidy - but once I got a little further into the story it was easy to distinguish who was who; I loved that they were all different and added something to the story. Kelsey’s group of friends were, for the most part, a great bunch. Sure, there were a few friendship fights, even some betrayal but when you’re dealing with boys and the joys of high school (notice my sarcasm) these things are bound to happen.

I normally don’t read Middle grade, haven’t for years, but I’m so glad I took a chance on this one as it was fantastic, super enjoyable and despite the difference between mine and Kelsey’s first year of high school, easy to relate to. This book is such FUN, I literally had a smile on my dial the entire time.

Just like Kelsey, I also was in the school play of Fiddler on the Roof a few years back and reading about her experience was not only great fun but it brought back all those fun memories of my own.

Meredith Zeitlin is a great writer; I connected with her prose so easily. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Completely cringe worthy and oh-so hilarious, Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is a debut that isn’t to be missed.


P.S – Meredith, if you are listening I would ADORE a second book on the happenings of Kelsey’s life and would love to see her story continue! If you need persuading, I make a mean cupcake! ;)


  1. I don't normall read MG either but I do pick them up from time to time. This one sounds really good! :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I didn't realise this was MG fiction! Been on my TBR pile for awhile, will have to pick it up soon!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Wonderful review!!!! I also been in plays in my school. I def would love to read about Kelsey's experiences! New follower :)!

  4. Becca, this sounds like SO much fun! And I can see how much you loved it, like, EXPLODERING from the page! I've been seriously curious about this one, but wasn't quite sure... it's interesting that it's MG, but with, well, proper romance? ANYWAY! me so glad you loved :D